Orla Fay Poetry
After M.C. Escher’s Hands Drawing Hands
These hands that draw these hands,
those not yet identified, nor claimed;
the child to be born, the self to be reconciled,
the lover to be found –
are all darkness
on which light falls
eventually, through struggle
In memory your hands were mine
to know and to interpret;
the fingernails you bit,
the tips always half-hidden
like the moon, or the shade of shy youth.
How I loved your hands being little;
the paradox being that despite intensity
your touch was appropriately so measured.
Loss troubles my sky at night,
the black billowing universe
full of speckled stars
wraps about my dreams.
Now my hands draw my own hands
searching for identity, definition,
A Thaw in Time
When the world becomes sparse
the red berries among the spoils
come to the foreground.
Her words tumble out
as quickly as she thinks
and the ice suddenly melts
in a blast of sunlight.
Relaying what I had told her,
my words are taken as grave truth;
the little bird had hopped along the fence
pecking berries, filling its belly
for the winter
and she, just three years old,
danced in mirth with tangled curls
in the power of the words,
making me wonder if I had been like that myself.
“Look Back in Wonder…”
In February 2014 Nasa’s Curiosity Rover published its first photo of Earth from Mars…
Some strange animal the night
prowling and swirling in its dusky tethers,
unsure of itself,
of its great height,
spiralling instantly upwards to the light of stars,
to whose or what knowing eyes.
Familiarity has bred
awareness of the wind and rain, their nuances
the footfall of this strange creature the night.
And when washed over in the ink of sleep
dawn wakes, a sure-fire-lit alarm
that on breaking shocks me into thinking
that one day I may not be alien to you,
that one day fear of the unknown may be banished;
in the magnetic pull of the body a grounding gravity.
Goodbye moon upside down
at 4.30 pm and 9 am in cloudless blue sky.
Goodbye possum crawling the garden fence
and sniffling outside the sliding door.
Goodbye palm trees and other trees
that I do not know the name of, and their fruit.
Goodbye sunshine making all so clear,
drying the dew, glorious by 3 in the afternoon.
Goodbye train station and familiar stops;
Roma, Corinda, Sherwood, Oxley, Darra.
Goodbye 7-11, water bottles with 33 % less plastic,
gas pumps, cigarettes and green stripes.
Goodbye snowy white dog guarding
the master’s tumbledown shack
and master with the scowling face,
with the battered blue ute.
Goodbye Woolworths, to grey bags
filled with avocado, timtams, bread, Jacobs Creek.
Goodbye to alien sounding birds waking
before the dawn, to Cockatiel and Kookaburra.
Goodbye to walking everywhere,
to the freedom of limbs, to runners and shorts,
to the ants on the pavement,
to the worrying life beneath the grass.
Goodbye Flower Place and the Richland’s hill,
to the Thirsty Camel Store, Sports Bar and hotel.
Goodbye highway, speeding car, custom made reg.
Goodbye commercial, bustling city centre.
Goodbye Mount Koot-cha, Southbank, Inala,
Forest Lake, Wacol, Brisbane, Australia.
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